The Israeli Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday it had test-fired an Arrow 2 ballistic missile interceptor.
The test, which was conducted at 11:45 p.m. at a test site in central Israel, was led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) along with the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (known as MAFAT in Hebrew) and the American Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and the Israeli Air Force (IAF).
Throughout the test, the Arrow-2 system successfully engaged a Sparrow target missile, which simulates a long-range surface-to-surface missile. The campaign was conducted in accordance to the defense establishment’s plans.
During the test, the updated capabilities of the Arrow system to contend with current and future threats were validated, the Defense Ministry said. The interception was conducted by IAF service members together with engineers from the institutions involved in the system’s development.
The test came 20 years after the system entered operational use in the air force and has made five major upgrades several times over the years in order to contend with threats that might face Israel in the future.
The first use of the Arrow-2 system occurred in April 2017 when the system was launched to intercept a Syrian regime air defense fired three surface-to-air missiles towards IAF jets.
The Arrow-2 program is one of the joint programs between Israel and the United States, was co-managed by the US Missile Defense Agency and IMDO, a division of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
“The joint Israeli-American test reflects the partnership and friendship between the two countries as well as the deep commitment of the United States to the safety of the citizens of Israel,” the Defense Ministry said.
“We will continue to work together to strengthen the capabilities of the defense establishment in the air, land and sea, as well as in cyberspace,” it added.
The successful interception test on Wednesday night comes after a series of additional tests, including the Arrow-3 test campaign conducted by the IMDO and MDA last year in Alaska.
The Arrow 2 forms a key layer of Israel’s multi-layered defense system along with the Arrow 3, David’s Sling and Iron Dome system. Together the systems provide Israel with a protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short and mid-range missiles used by terror groups in Gaza and Hezbollah as well as the threat posed by more sophisticated long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.